Effective immediately, foreign nationals with residency visas from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are required to apply for an e-visa before travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
This regulation came into effect in May 2015, but has only recently been enforced by the immigration authorities in the UAE. Failure to obtain the e-visa before traveling to the UAE may lead to rejection at the border immigration counter.
What is different?
Previously, an entry permit/visit visa to the UAE was applied for at the UAE mission overseas or was received upon arrival. The possibility for online visa applications is intended to facilitate travel for those foreign nationals already resident in the region.
Who is Affected?
Foreign nationals with long term residence visas (or family members of holders of residence visas) issued by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) and seeking to enter the UAE for a business or tourist visit.
How Does The E-visa Work?
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has launched a new online service for e-visa applications, including online payments. Note that this is different from the website used for e-visas for GCC residents since the regulation was introduced in May.
Once the visa is approved by the Ministry of Interior, a copy will be sent to the applicant by email. The issued visa can be used within 60 days to enter the country. Upon entry, the applicant can stay 30 days in the UAE. The visa is allows a single entry, and is extendable once for 30 days.